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94                                      VEBDICT  OX IXDIA
showed a picture of Lord Linlithgow, stark naked, grovelling on
the ground before 3Ir. Jinnah and licking his toes (this was a
comment on a guarded reference which the Viceroy had made,
in one of his speeches, to the rightful aspirations of the Muslims).
" What do you think of it ? * asked the young editor.
I could only reply that I thought it was very ugly.
' Yes—but the idea ? *
I excused myself by saying that anything quite so ugly as that
did not give me any ideas.
'Anyway, I'm going to put it in,/
" Fm sure you are.   The Indian press is free.5
At which he burst into gales of laughter.   The Indian press
free !   Oh—that was a good one., .that was rich. * ,he must tell
his friends!
Well—what was he laughing about ? If the newspapers and
magazines, lying on the bookstalls outside my window, had been
able to speak, they might well have asked that question. Look at
them! "Quit India/ by Gandhi. 'Uncle Sh&m'.. .An Exposure,
by an Indian, of the decadence of the U.S.A. Endless pamphlets
and articles against Britain, against the war effort, against the
Muslims, against everything and everybody that is non-Hindu,
libelling, lying, snarling, spitting. All sold freely, casually, in the
open market.
Xaturally, in a war to the death, the censor's scissors have some-
times snapped. Naturally, in, a country stiff with enemy saboteurs,
the police have, on a few occasions, confiscated or suppressed
material that was comparatively innocuous.
The stark and vital fact remains—and I challenge any Hindu
to deny it—that throughout the course of this war the vast bulk
of the Hindu press has been singing a Hymn of Hate aimed at the
British Raj, day in and day out, in a thousand voices. However
loud this Hymn of Hate has swelled, however false its tones and
however harmful its echoes, the British have seldom succumbed
to the temptation, to suppress it. The Hymn goes on, with the
enemy standing at the gates.
If that is not at least a measure of freedom, it is a very fair
imitation.